what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander
1670s, figuratively using goose/gander for women and men, and literally meaning that the same sauce applies equally well to cooked goose, regardless of sex. Early forms include “as deep drinketh the goose as the gander” (1562) and similar “As well for the coowe calfe as for the bull” (1549).
- If something is acceptable for one person, it is acceptable for another (often of the opposite sex).
- 1682, Thomas Otway, Venice Preserv’d, or, A Plot Discover’d. A Tragedy. […], London: Printed for Jos[eph] Hindmarsh […], OCLC 664400715, Act V, scene i, page 53:
- [I]t is, as I may so say, a sawcy Plot: and we all know, most Reverend Fathers, that what is sawce for a Goose is sawce for a Gander: Therefore, I say, as those bloud-thirsty Ganders of the conspiracy would have destroyed us Geese of the Senate, let us make haste to destroy them, so I humbly move for hanging— [...]
- 1945, Herbert Walter Fairman, “An Introduction to the Study of Ptolemaic Signs and Their Values”, in Le Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, volume 43, page 80:
- What is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose and the arguments that he produces against my suggestion apply with double force to his.
- ^ John Heywood, The Proverbs, Epigrams, and Miscellanies of John Heywood, 1562, "as+deep+drinketh+the+goose+as+the+gander" p. 82
- ^ John Lyly, Euphues and his England, 1579/1580, “as deepe drinketh the Goose as the Gander”, note on p. 377
- ^ 1549, John Heywood, A Dialogue Conteinyng the Nomber in Effect of All the Prouerbes in the Englishe Tongue
- ^ "Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New" by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993).
- ^ 1856, Charles Cahier, Quelque six mille proverbis et aphorismes usuels empruntés à notre âge et aux siècles derniers, page 380: gives French form as borrowing from English